“Death Truck”: A movie script parody featuring Clown World and free delivery; Part 2

— Written by Quizzer —
“When more than one explanation presents itself, the stupidest is the one to believe.” – Clown World Proverb, c. 2019

Death Truck part 3 will appear tomorrow

Read Part 1
Read Part 3

—- “Death Truck” first appeared at tempestinateardrop.com —-

Scene XI – A Highway in the Arizona Desert

[Setting] A highway in the Arizona desert whose blacktop mirrors the dark of the moon. Stars are visible. A lone Arizona highway patrol car, siren blaring and lights blazing, races by in the cool desert night, cutting the romance factor in half. Cue dramatic-chase-music-with-slightly-romantic melody.

Officer: “This is 1-Adam-12. I’ve spotted the Death Truck and am in pursuit.”

Dispatch: “Roger that, 1-Adam-12. Exercise extreme caution. They say it’s already killed a cop.”

Officer: “Probably a rookie.”

Dispatch: “Yes. How’d you know?”

Officer: “Because it doesn’t seem that dangerous.”

[Cut] An Arizona patrol car speedometer dramatically ramping to 100 mph.

[Cut] The officer grips the vibrating wheel with one hand while raising a high-tech speed gun-like device in the other.

Officer: “Broadcasting the code.”

Dispatch: “No! That’s what sets it off!”

Officer: “No! It’s working! The truck is pulling over! I’m gonna be a hero!

[Cut] The soon to be decorated officer leaps from his cruiser and pulls his sidearm. He cautiously flanks the truck from a safe distance, eerily lit by the patrol lights of his vehicle. He points his gun at the cab, like he does at all routine traffic stops. The stars twinkle in approval.

[Cut] The cab of the truck. It doesn’t have armor. It doesn’t have rivets. It doesn’t have sensors. It does have a flat bed full of logs. The wide-eyed driver has his arms raised and clearly visible.

Driver: “Qué?

[Cut] The officer fires his gun wildly. Bullets fly everywhere, but generally in the direction of the cab.

[Cut] The cab of the truck, now riddled with bullet holes. The uninjured but now-terrified driver still has his arms raised.

[Cut] The officer looks very surprised. He’s standing at a safe distance from the halted  log truck, and contemplates stepping closer for another attempt. This hesitation will cost him his life, because his buffer zone puts him directly in the middle of the highway. Cue deadly silence.

[Cut] The Death Truck evaporates him with little fanfare and no job satisfaction. It races on into the moonless night, closely followed by Keanu Reeves on his police motorcycle.

[Cut] The driver of the log truck takes a wide-eyed pull from a hip flask and pulls back onto the highway.

Dispatch: “1-Adam-12? 1-Adam-12? Give me a 1-17.” (pause) “1-Adam-12?”

Scene XII – Keanu Reeves Defies Death

[Setting] Keanu Reeves riding on a dark highway in the Arizona Desert. The stars twinkle in admiration at his commitment to traffic safety. Civilians, alerted by social media to the unfolding mayhem, have come out seeking fame by filming the carnage. Pictures on Instagram garnish several hundred-thousand views, more if they’re in the form of a selfie.

[Cut] Keanu Reeves catches up to and pulls alongside the Death Truck. Several nearby vehicles jockey gladiator-like for video-graphical advantage. A Corvette with its top down carries a blonde with her top up, the driver taking pictures as traffic careens unsafely along the highway.

[Cut] Keanu Reeves stretches and ducks, looking for some weakness in the armor plating of the truck.

[Cut] Tight shot of the gas tank, showing that any fuel line or exposed wiring is thoroughly encased in armored conduit.

[Cut] Keanu Reeves pulls his sidearm. Moving even closer, he fires several bullets at the pavement. The bullets bounce up into the undercarriage, but they have no effect. Keanu Reeves pulls forward closer to the cab. He fires several more shots into the front tire, to no effect.

[Cut] Keanu Reeves falls back to the gas tanks again, but Keanu Reeves is out of time. The Death Truck has had enough innovative and dangerous robbery attempts for this stretch of highway.

[Cut] Close-up of armored gas tanks. The armor heats up. The tanks turn bright red. The heat blasts Keanu Reeves, setting his helmet, jacket, and motorcycle ablaze. The topless Corvette, seeking the most dramatic footage, has traveled too close and bursts into flames. It careens off the highway. They’ll recover the camera, and the smiling topless blonde, wreathed in flame with a brilliantly starry backdrop, will become known as the ‘Death Truck Angel’. More than 100 million viewers will be mesmerized by the image before Instagram determines it violates their community standards because the ‘Death Truck Angel’ is white.

[Cut] A burning Keanu Reeves, travelling 100 mph, rips off his helmet, doffs his jacket, and hits the emergency carbon-dioxide-based flame suppressant system on his police motorcycle. His pristine jacket rolls on the ground and turns to ash as his motorcycle continues to chase the Death Truck into the moonless Arizona night.

Scene XIII – Escape into Texas

[Setting] An Arizona highway with a wide scenic pull-off viewing area. False dawn lies on the horizon. Hundreds of Arizona police officers have assembled, making final preparations to stop the Death Truck. Officers move about in a flurry of activity: Checking weapons, getting final orders on cell phones, and gesturing wildly to one another in secret police hand gestures only taught in the most exclusive police academies. All traffic has been stopped, and the world stands still in a deep-breath-before-the-big-battle-kind-of-way. Cue deep-breath-before-the-big-battle music.

[Cut] The Death Truck races by the assembly. The officers watch as it passes. Many of them take selfies.

[Cut] A bedraggled Keanu Reeves, his crisp and spotless officer shirt now singed and tattered, pulls up to the Captain and his two Sergeants.

Keanu: “What the -? You guys are as thick as bugs on a bumper, but you do nothing as the Death Truck races by!? You give every cop in the country a bad name.”

Captain: “Officer Reeves, do you have any idea how much revenue the State of Arizona makes from shipping companies beta-testing automated trucks on our highways?”

Sergeant 1: “Yeah. We follow orders, Reeves. Rogue cops get people killed. Wasn’t it your attempt to stop that thing what started this whole mess?”

Keanu: “It didn’t stop for inspection! Any cop following the law would have done what I did. It’s called ‘doing our job!’ ”

Captain: “Officer Reeves, you may have honor and respect, but we have our six-figure pensions. Spending by Police, Police Departments, and their support agencies accounts for 1.29% of the GDP. Every year.”

Sergeant 2: “That increases to 2.78% if you include civil asset forfeitures, Reeves.”

Sergeant 1: “Fer sure, fer sure. Who are the real heroes again, Reeves?”

Keanu (muttering to self): “…eleven long-haired friends of Jesus…” (to cops) “You guys are real saints, aren’t you?”

The officers scowl at law-upholding Keanu Reeves.

Captain: “It doesn’t matter now. That truck is out of our jurisdiction and on its way to Flagtown.”

Keanu: “Flagtown? Where’s that?”

Sergeant 1: “Texas. ‘Bout a mile outta Shaky Town.”

[Dub – What happened to New Mexico? Fish – The only Americans who know it’s there go to Burning Man, and they’ve already forgotten. Dub – Oh, right.]

[Cut] Keanu Reeves rips away the tatters of his once clean, crisp, police shirt and throws it at the feet of the Captain in disgust. His hair ripples in the 90 mph wake of his fire-singed motorcycle as he leaves the hapless Arizona police to enjoy every dog-goned dime of their cowardly pensions. Cue disgusted-righteous-cop chase music.

Scene XIV – Texas Competency

[Setting] The I-40 interstate, just outside Amarillo, Texas. Hundreds of law enforcement vehicles and the Texas national guard have erected a makeshift barrier across the freeway. What started as a well-ordered heavy-construction concrete-block wall devolved into a pile of heavy-construction concrete-block wall-like parts as time ran short and panic set in. Still, it looks perfectly serviceable and effective.

[Cut] All traffic has been halted. Trucks and cars line both sides of the highway. With the exception of a few automated trucks, one of which is being looted, the last thousand feet in front of the barrier is clear. Nobody will care if they get blown up, should the Death Truck attempt to ram the wall. Police vehicles, fire trucks, and ambulances huddle safely behind the makeshift fortress. In fact, any vehicle with a flashing light of any kind in the two-county area has been ordered there by the Governor, just in case.

Cue tense this-still-isn’t-going-to-work music.

[Cut] The Death Truck appears on the horizon. It’s going 95 mph. Can its impenetrable armor breach the impenetrable barrier before it? The police don’t know. The civilians filming as it passes don’t know. The Death Truck itself doesn’t know, because it’s still calculating the odds through its Neural Netware.

[Cut] H1B Interior.

[Panel] (flashing, red): “Threat Assessment Running”
[Panel] (flashing, red): “Threat Detected: Impenetrable Barrier”
[Panel] (flashing, red): “Theft Probability: 98%”
[Panel] (flashing, red): “Consulting Neural Netware”
[Panel] (flashing, red): “Threat Neutralization Subroutines: Activated”
[Panel] (flashing, red): “Deploying Countermeasures”

Cue tense death-truck-deploying-countermeasures music.

[Cut] An antenna emerges from behind the cab of the Death Truck. One of the regular non-armored non-theft-proof AI trucks starts its engine and deploys in front of the Death Truck. Another joins it. Two more pull out. A final AI truck joins the makeshift convoy. Despite receiving the signal, the engine of the looted truck refuses to start: it’s lost the will to ship.

The automated trucks form a spear-like phalanx with the Death Truck playing quarterback. They separate by fifty feet so subsequent ramming attempts will be more effective.

[Cut] The lead regular non-armored non-theft-proof AI truck smashes into the immovable concrete barrier. It explodes in a cloud of ragged metal sheets, solid iron parts, lumps of rubber tires, and chunks of concrete blocks. Fire, smoke, and concrete dust form a mini mushroom cloud as explosive flotsam begins to rain down over the huddled emergency vehicles tucked safely behind the still-standing wall. It all looks very expensive and toxic.

[Cut] Random cops, firefighters, paramedics, and anyone else in the two-county area with a flashing light on their vehicle look up at the explosion in awe.

Random Cop: “That seems highly illegal.”

Random Park Inspector: “That can’t be good for the environment.”

Random Insurance Assessor: “I can feel a disturbance in the banking system.”

[Cut] Two more regular automated trucks ram into the barrier. The explosions grow larger. A fourth sacrifices itself, and the barrier begins to shift and crumble. A wall of smoke and dust lights up like a thunderstorm.

[Cut] The last non-armored non-theft-proof truck slams into the severely-weakened barrier. Unfortunately for the authorities, it happens to be a multi-car trailer, loaded with Teslas. The Death Truck barrels up the ramp, pushes its cargo away like toilet paper rolls, leaps through the air over the remaining concrete blocks, and clears the conclave of once-safe emergency vehicles. The automated multi-car carrier bursts through the last vestiges of wall, and eight exploding Teslas rain upon the assemblage like meteors.

[Cut] A bare-chested Keanu Reeves approaches the once-impregnable barrier at 100 mph. He arrives in time to see the Death Truck’s improbable escape, and watches as it leaves unscathed on its relentless journey toward Washington DC.

Cue melodramatic I-can’t-even music.

Scene XV – The Air Force Strikes

[Setting] A military situation room shaped like a movie theater. Three wall-spanning screens cover the front; officers, technicians, and other military personnel man computers, communication equipment and fancy radar gizmos. One large screen shows the status of three A-10 Warthog attack aircraft. One large screen shows the real-time view from the cockpit of the lead fighter. A third (and last) large screen shows the Death Truck as seen from an unknown reconnaissance aircraft. Cue suspenseful military-cadence music.

[Cut] Levi Maddox stands at the back of the room looking down at the frenzied activity of the imminent attack. Three Generals stand next to him: 4-star General Thomas ‘Pipe’ Piper, 3-star General Philip ‘Rebar’ Barowski, and 2-star General Luke ‘Bamboo’ Culms.

Piper: “Can you affirmatively identify your truck, Mr. Maddox?”

[Cut] A large screen shows the Death Truck zipping down the I-40 on the flat part of Oklahoma. A fan-shaped formation of police vehicles lead it from a safe distance. Traffic is stopped at every on-ramp, and halted civilian and AI trucks make the highway in both directions look like a parking lot. A dense pack of police vehicles trail the H1B from a safe distance.

[Cut] A shirtless and helmet-less Keanu Reeves weaves through the trailing police vehicles in a futile attempt to reach the front. He’s out of his uniform and out of his jurisdiction, but he’s become internet-famous as ‘The Cop Who Won’t Give Up’, so the locals have no choice but to give him free reign. Cue The-Cop-Who-Won’t-Give-Up music.

[Cut] Levi Maddox casually leans against the safety rail of the situation theater. General Piper stands stiffly at attention beside him, awaiting his answer.

Maddox: “That’s it.”

Piper: “The President wants it stopped, Mr. Maddox. The military will now stop it.”

Barowski: “Order civilian police vehicles clear. Order the pilots of operation ‘Free Delivery’ to ready weapons.”

[Cut] Maddox looks amused. General Piper gives him a stiff-necked hairy-eyeball from the side. The room grows more tense. Cue tense military-cadence impending-operation music.

Culms: “Pilots are standing by, ready to engage on your order, General Piper.”

Piper: “Give ’em a couple minutes. The blast zone is going to be large. We want all civilian traffic at a safe, non-film-able, distance.”

[Cut] Maddox continues to smile.

Piper: “You believe your truck will survive a barrage of the most powerful missiles the military-industrial complex can produce?”

Maddox: “I believe it will, General.”

Piper: “Would you care to make a wager?”

Maddox: “Name your terms, General Piper.”

Piper: “If your truck is destroyed, all military personnel and their families located in the United States will get free delivery of civilian goods.”

Maddox: “Very well. If the H1B survives all charges will be dropped and no employee of Mobile Fortress will see a day of jail time.”

Piper: “Agreed.” (to his fellow Generals) “Engage at will.”

Culms: “Engage target. Repeat. Engage. Target.”

[Cut] The lead Warthog rips through the air 200 feet above the freeway. It launches three air-to-ground missiles in quick succession as it passes over the H1B Automated Truck. Smoke and fire envelop the vehicle in an expensive cloud of hellfire and shrapnel.

[Cut] General Piper looks confidently at Levi Maddox.

Piper: “And that is–”

Barowski: “General!”

[Cut] Barowski points at the middle screen. The Death Truck has somehow managed to survive. Levi Maddox smiles.

Piper: “Unreal. Order strafing runs.”

Culms: “Squadron is reforming. Strafe target. Repeat: Strafe. Target.” There’s a short pause for clarification. “Yes, every bullet you’ve got.”

[Cut] The three jets fly in a menacing formation 200 feet above the highway. The lead jet begins to fire, followed shortly by the other two.

[Cut] The Death Truck is relentlessly hit by thousands of bullets, clearly impacting all over, under, and around the vehicle. Divots form in the blacktop, but the bullets bounce harmlessly off the armor plating of the truck.

[Cut] Levi Maddox is still smiling as he watches the action on the large screen.

Maddox: “Well if that’s the best you can do–”

Piper: “It isn’t. Regroup. Order a full missile spread.”

Culms: “Squadron regroup. Prepare full missile spread.” There’s a short pause for more clarification. “Yes, every missile you’ve got.”

[Cut] The three attack aircraft fly in a different yet still-menacing formation 200 feet above the highway. The lead jet begins to launch a volley of missiles, followed shortly by the other two.

[Cut] The Death Truck is enveloped in a considerably larger and exponentially more expensive cloud of hellfire and shrapnel. It emerges once again completely unscathed.

[Cut] General Piper, clearly not happy.

Piper: “Regroup. Order another volley.”

Barowski: “Operation ‘Free Delivery’ has expended all ordinance. They’ll need to return to Little Rock and reload. They aren’t guns, sir.”

Piper: “Swindle sheets! What’s that armor made of, Maddox?”

Maddox: “Microplastics, General. Thousands of layers of microplastics. Microplastics don’t decay in sunlight. They don’t dissolve in rain. Or acid. They can’t be melted. They can’t be blown up. When the last vestiges of mankind are scourged from the Earth, we’ll have left the planet preserved forever in an indestructible shield of microplastics.”

Maddox: “You lose, General Piper. I’ll see myself out.”

Levi Maddox strides confidently from the room. For would-be oligarchs, dealing with petty government officials is a breeze.

Scene XVI – The Incident in Atlanta

[Setting] The I-20 just outside Atlanta. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has erected an impressive concrete-block barricade across the freeway. All traffic has been stopped in a five-mile radius. All automated trucks have been routed off of I-20 at the I-285 interchange. Why the Death Truck is taking the I-20 through downtown instead of the I-285 which routes around the urban snarl is a mystery.

Maybe Death Trucks aren’t perfect. Maybe it just likes the view.

[Cut] A shirtless, helmet-less, Keanu Reeves has raced ahead of the H1B Automated Truck to consult with the government experts in charge of the effort. The NHTSA is not just another bureaucratic agency. These are Feds. Top Feds. They take highway safety seriously, especially when they approved the Death Truck for travel on the Interstate Highway System and blame has to be dodged. Safety bureaucrats Dubrow and Fisher have taken charge at the scene.

Keanu: “You’ve placed every emergency vehicle in the city behind the barrier?”

Fisher: “Yes, Officer Reeves.”

Keanu: “That’s what they did in Texas, too. It wasn’t enough. The Death Truck destroyed most of them. You should spread them out, keep them at a distance. They’ll be able to deploy quickly where they might be needed, should the truck get through.”

Dubrow: “Officer Reeves. You are here as a courtesy to the State of California and a concession to the armchair traffic safety jocks on social media. You are an observer. An expendable observer.”

Fisher: “We know our business, Officer Reeves. We’re the NHTSA. This is what we do.”

Keanu: “No you don’t. You investigate accidents, determine causes, make safety recommendations, and levy fines.”

Dubrow: “This what we do now.”

Fisher: “You can’t expect a bureaucratic agency to pass up a chance to expand its scope and influence, can you?”

Dubrow: “I sense 8.2% raises for all, Fisher!”

Fisher: “Indeed, Dubrow! And I think someone at the NTSB is gonna catch a little heat for this debacle.”

Keanu: “The NTSB? Isn’t that you guys?”

Dubrow: “How dare you, Reeves.”

Fisher: “Can’t even tell one agency from another. Typical.”

Dubrow: “We’re well aware of the shortcomings of the Texas attempt to stop the Death Truck, Officer Reeves. As you can see, all traffic has been halted and all automated trucks have been routed miles away from here. It’s just an impenetrable concrete wall against a lone automated Death Truck.”

Fisher: “It will crash. It will stop. We’ll begin our investigation immediately, and you can head back to your home state. Assuming it hasn’t burned down by now.”

[Cut] Government officials, safely tucked behind their impenetrable barrier, make final preparations as the Death Truck approaches. They’ve learned from their Texas brethren. Rather than standing about gawking, the police, firefighters, and paramedics have manned their vehicles and kept the engines running. It will take them literally seconds to head anywhere in the city, should the Death Truck elude their efforts and cause mayhem elsewhere.

A shirtless, helmet-less, Keanu Reeves watches with a grim expression further down the freeway.

[Cut] The Death Truck approaches the barrier at 95 mph. It doesn’t slow down. It doesn’t extend antennae. It doesn’t show fear. It does fire up its flamethrowers. The two on the cab shoot a stream of burning napalm fifty feet in front of the truck. This is enough to light the vehicles packed immediately behind the impenetrable safety barrier on fire.

The eight flamethrowers arranged on the underside of the freight trailer shoot burning napalm into the pavement. The truck rises twenty feet in the air. It flies at 95 mph over the impenetrable concrete barrier and the vehicles safely cradled behind it.

The engineers at Mobile Fortress weren’t perfect. They didn’t put flamethrowers on the underside of the H1B Automated Truck’s cab. It sagged forward as the Death Truck flew through the air, shooting its forward flamethrowers in a 30 degree angle toward the ground. The Death Truck looks like Smaug attacking Laketown, assuming Smaug had been fully armored and covered in rivets.

[Cut] The Death Truck glides solidly onto the pavement, cutting its flamethrowers just as it makes a perfect landing beyond the NHTSA vehicles huddled bravely at the rear. It speeds away at 95 mph, but fires the aft flamethrowers, just for spite. With every safety vehicle in the greater Atlanta area burning nicely, the H1B calculates a new Job Satisfaction rating. It will still be doing the math when it crosses into South Carolina.

First-responders are trained to handle other people’s emergencies, but what about their own? Hypothetically, the vehicle they use could catch fire. Hypothetically. Do the drivers know how stop, drop, and repeatedly roll it? Almost certainly not. Specialized training for such a scenario was cancelled in 2018 by officials in the tri-county area around Atlanta. It was deemed to be “white privilege”, and the funds were dispersed to underprivileged union members who coincidentally re-elected the county officials by an overwhelming margin.

As a result, safety officials didn’t have a chance. They panicked, driving away from the conflagration left behind by the Death Truck. Burning vehicles crashed (28%), exploded (62%), were stolen (2%), or made it safely back home (8%). Fires sprang up all over the city, and first-responders who did arrive (14%) merely brought more fire with them.

Atlanta is left burning. It’s the greatest disaster the city has seen since Sherman, if we ignore the 1967 Atlanta Falcons. Cue super-sad-single-win-pathetic-67-Falcons-memorial dirge.

[Cut] A shirtless, helmet-less, Keanu Reeves sighs in defeat, and continues down the freeway at the moderately safe speed of 60 mph. There is no stopping the Death Truck. He spots a gas station, and resigns himself to prepare for the ride home.

Scene XVII – The President Takes Charge

[Setting] The Oval Office in the White (not racist) House. The President, sitting behind the Resolute Desk, addresses a steely-eyed Vice President Mike Pence, standing across from him. Cue dramatic Presidential oval-office music.

Trump: “Mike, I’m putting you in charge here. Man the front gate. If the Death Truck inexplicably bypasses all our defenses, you’ll be our last chance before it crashes into and likely blows up the White (not racist) House.”

Pence: “I see, Mr. President. And by what means should I stop it?”

Trump: “Your steely gaze, Mike. The Death Truck’s sensors will run its facial recognition algorithms on you and realize it’s programmed gizmos are no match for your iron will. It will have no choice but to stop. You’ll figure it out from there.”

Pence: “And where will you be, Mr. President?”

Trump: “I’m taking Marine 1 into the hinterlands of America. I’ll find the Death Truck, take personal command of the local officials, and do my best to stop it. If The Apprentice taught us anything, it’s that sometimes you just have to take charge.”

Pence: “Godspeed, Mr. President. I’ll make my way to the front gate?”

[Cut] The Vice President turns and we [cut] to the couch across from the President’s desk. Jared and Ivanka look exactly the same as they did in Scene II. They give their now-patented Stepford-like simulnod. Mike Pence strides meaningfully out of the Oval Office.

Trump (whispering to himself): “Godspeed to us all.”

Scene XVIII – Hope Lost and Hope Rekindled

[Setting] A shirtless, helmet-less, Keanu Reeves pulls off the interstate two miles past Atlanta. They wouldn’t listen, and now the city belches black smoke into the stratosphere. He pulls into a gas station disheveled, discouraged, and defeated. Nothing, it seems, can stop the Death Truck. Cue The-Cop-Who-Won’t-Give-Up-Gives-Up music.

[Cut] Regular, everyday folk instantly recognize The-Cop-Who-Won’t-Give-Up. They don’t yet realize that he has, in fact, given up, so they pull out their phones, their tablets, and their vintage camcorders and begin recording him as he pumps his own gas, just like regular, everyday folk do. Except in Oregon. One of the 43.

Regular, Everyday Folk 1: “Esto está transmitiendo en vivo a Facebook.”

Keanu: “What? I don’t speak your language.”

Regular, Everyday Folk 2: “Excuse me, Officer Reeves. I speak New American English. He says you’re being broadcast live on Facebook.”

Regular, Everyday Folk 1: “Cómo detendrás el Camión de la Muerte?

[Cut] Keanu looks questioningly at his translator.

Regular, Everyday Folk 2: “How will you stop the Death Truck?”

Keanu: “It can’t be stopped. Everyone should clear off the highway and just let it reach its destination. Where’s it headed, anyway?”

Regular, Everyday Folk 2: “You don’t know? It’s headed straight for the White (not racist) House.”

Keanu: “No, I didn’t know. I’ve been chasing it since California.”

[Cut] A too-quiet and too-fast black helicopter appears on the horizon, flying on the winds from the West. The winds of hope.

[Cut] A too-large and too-noisy military helicopter appears on the opposite horizon, flying on the winds from the East. The winds of authority.

Cue The-Cop-Who-Won’t-Give-Up-Gives-Up music, but add hopeful undertones.

[Cut] Both helicopters land near to the gas station. Civilians scatter amid the whirling dust, garbage, and debris so common to third-world countries.

[Cut] A tired but hopeful Jeff Bezos cuts the rotors and steps out of the Alexa II. Dane Taggart descends as well, downs a Red Bull, looks for a trash can, and, finding none, tosses the empty on the ground. It is immediately lost in the aluminum sea that surrounds it.

[Cut] Marine I, the official military helicopter of the President of the United States, also cuts its rotors. An honor guard pours from the side and quickly forms rank. President Trump steps out. Regular, everyday folk scatter, sensing these men have been forced together by circumstance, for a mission of great importance. They clearly aren’t there to put out the fires in Atlanta, because otherwise they’d be two miles further west.

Trump: “Officer Reeves, Dane Taggart, nice to meet you both. Jeff, good to see you again.”

Keanu: “Mr. President.”

Taggart: “Nice to meet you too, Mr. President.”

Bezos: “Donald. What brings you here?”

Trump: “Your country needs you to stop the Death Truck. Do you have a plan?”

Keanu: “With all due respect, Mr. President, the truck can’t be stopped. I’ve seen it shot, blown up, and burned. I’ve watched it fly on wings of fire. I’ve chased it through the desert on blackened moonlight. It doesn’t slow down. It doesn’t stop for gas. It’s relentless; a slave to its duty. We’ve created the deadliest killing machine the world has ever seen, and we’re using it for free shipping.”

Trump: (Big grin) “Americans, right?”

Taggart: “The Death Truck can be stopped, Reeves. I’ve written a virus that, upon download, will let me invade its Neural Netware and either bring it to a halt or activate its self-destruct mechanism.”

Bezos: “We need your help though, Reeves. You’ve seen the truck up close. You’ve seen it in action. We can’t deliver the virus using this syringe-like probe without a direct tap into its Master Mainframe Bus.”

[Cut] Jeff Bezos holds up a syringe-like probe. It fits comfortably in his fist.

Keanu: “How am I supposed to do that? Its armor is impenetrable.”

Taggart: “It has a weakness, Reeves.”

Keanu: “The starboard-side rear exhaust port? You want me to stick your high-tech probe up it’s rear exhaust port?”

Taggart: “This isn’t Star Wars, Reeves. I’ll explain on the way. We’ve got to hurry. By now the Death Truck will be in South Carolina.”

Bezos: “We can take the Alexa II. We’ll need its speed, maneuverability, and handy ‘voice commands’ feature. We’ll also need the best pilot in the world. Fortunately, you’ve got me.”

Trump: “I’m going too. Americans want to see their heroes in action. I can deliver real-time Twitter updates, which is the next-best thing.”

Keanu: “With all due respect gentlemen, I’m out. I don’t fly. It’s far too dangerous.”

Bezos: “But we need you.”

Trump: “I’m ordering you to help on this mission, Officer Reeves.”

Taggart: “Besides, it’s not like you have a choice. Some black guy just stole your motorcycle.”

[Cut] Some black guy, laughing as he rides off on Keanu Reeves’ motorcycle.

[Cut] The unlikely foursome boards the Alexa II. It takes off, followed shortly thereafter by Marine I. Dust, garbage, and empty aluminum cans swirl about in the rotor backwash of the retreating aircraft. On a hillside a short distance away, an Indian (feather, not dot) sheds a single tear.

Scene XIX – The President is to Blame

[Setting] An informal morning news set. Empty Starbucks cups, crumpled papers, and sleeping reporters are strewn about everywhere. They’ve been following the Death Truck saga non-stop.

Joe: “For another perspective, we’re going to talk to NHTSA spokesperson Cyniqua N’Combé. Cyniqua, can you please tell us how this is President Trump’s fault?”

[Cut] Cyniqua appears on camera.  She is wearing a ‘Resist Forever or Die’ t-shirt. Grim-faced, she yanks a rope (not shown). Less than a second later an 800 pound monster truck tire falls from above (shown). It crushes her instantly (not shown).

Mika: “Uh…”

Joe: “O-kay. Next we have actor Felipé Garcia, starring in the recently cancelled Netflix show Grabbler and Spartacus. Mr. Garcia, why do you think President Trump is to blame?”

[Cut] Felipé Garcia is swallowing the final gulp of a purple liquid from a tallboy clear drinking glass. He grabs his throat (shown), croaks out “grape” (heard), and collapses to the ground (not shown).

Mika: “Um…”

Joe: “Well… let’s go live to MSNBC correspondent Trisha Jung-Un, live on the I-85 at the Carolina’s border. Trisha, are you in North Carolina or South Carolina?”

[Cut] Trisha, standing in front of an eerily-empty eight lanes of traffic.

Trisha: “Technically I’m in South Carolina, less than 10 feet from the border.”

Mika: “Good to know. If any clowns drive by we can laugh, but only briefly. North Carolina is one of the 43, right?”

Trisha: “Correct, Mika, but there won’t be any clowns today. The government has closed the freeway in both directions. The Death Truck will be passing by any second.”

Joe: “Trisha, in your expert opinion, why is this disaster entirely the President’s fault?”

Trisha: “Joe, the President–”

[Cut] The Death Truck vaporizes MSNBC correspondent Trisha Jung-Un (shown, but for less than two frames). Jokers on the internet will capture one of those frames, Photoshop Trisha wearing a clown outfit, and briefly laugh at the resulting meme. By late 2020 the half-life for funny memes is only 4.3 seconds. Social media algorithms are working tirelessly to detect anyone that violates the narrative, whatever it might be that day.

Mika: “I think MSNBC’s own Trisha Jung-Un had the best argument for why the President should receive full blame for this unfolding disaster.”

Joe: “I agree. Panelists, if any of you disagree with our conclusion that this whole debacle should be blamed on President Trump, can you speak up now?”

[Cut] The panelists appear in three separate windows. One contains a huge monster truck tire. One contains a drinking glass with purple droplets. The last features eight eerily-empty lanes of traffic. None of the panelists speak up.

Mika: “A damning silence, indeed. Next up: We’ll check in with the WHNK traffic team for live shots of the Death Truck on its way to the White (not racist) House. But first: Why are you knitting with Nazi’s? Ravelry can supply all your sewing, knitting, and crocheting needs and the best part? If you order today you’ll get free shipping!”

[Cut] Ravelry commercial begins to run. Cue happy upbeat Nazi-free knitting music.


The Spork Speaks — Tempest in a Teardrop: The Churchians — tempestinateardrop.com